Sweet potato, Red Lentil and Piquillo Pepper Soup

Soup again tonight! After 43 degrees over the weekend, it has really cooled down here, especially in the evening. So I thought I’d get my soup fix in before summer really arrives. This soup is thick, creamy and has a smoky spicy kick. Exactly what I needed to keep me and bub nice and warm.

DSC03024Sweet potato, Red Lentil and Piquillo Pepper Soup (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)


3 medium sweet potato, cut in to cubes (about 6 cups)

olive oil

1 onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, diced

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup red lentils

5 cups vegetable stock (1/2 cup water)

8 roasted piquillo peppers, plus more to garnish (or 4 roasted capsicums)

1  teaspoon liquid smoke

cayenne pepper to taste

sea salt to taste

natural coconut yoghurt (or savoury soy yoghurt) to garnish

black pepper to taste


1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees.

2. Place sweet potato on a tray, drizzle with some olive oil and roast for 30-40 minutes or until cooked.

3. In the meantime, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot and then add the onion and garlic. Saute for 4 minutes or until translucent.

4. Add the cumin, ginger, cinnamon to the pot. Sauté for 1 minute or until the the spices are fragrant.

5. Add the red lentils and 1 cup of vegetable stock. Bring to the boil and then put on a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes or until the lentils are cooked. Add 1/2 cup water if too dry.

6. Place the roasted sweet potato, red lentils, piquillo peppers and 1 cup of vegetable stock in a Vitamix or blender and blend till smooth. You may need to do in 2 batches. Alternatively you can place all the ingredients in the pot and use a bar mix to blend.

7. Return the ingredients from the Vitamix to the pot. Add 3 cups of vegetable stock, liquid smoke, cayenne pepper and sea salt and stir through. Bring to the pot to the boil, then place on a simmer, season with more sea salt if you need before serving.

8. Serve the soup topped with natural coconut yoghurt, ribbons of piquillo peppers, black pepper and drizzle some olive oil.

*Serves 4-6



Pizza, Soup and a Chocolate Berry Breakfast Suprise

A  couple of nights ago we got invite out to dinner with some friends. But with the rainy weather and my cold feet about going somewhere that didn’t cater to me, we decided invited them over for homemade pizzas. We had some leftover pizza dough so last night I made the most delicious pizza with a few simple ingredients. This wasn’t the main event but to accompany this Red Lentil and Root Vegetable Soup.

For breakfast I prepared the most delicious overnight oats. I included a few extra healthy ingredients such as cacao, maca, chia seeds and goji berries.  I nice to be able to have guilt free chocolate oats for breakfast.

Just as I was writing this post, I got a call about a job. I’m going in for an interview tomorrow. I only send in an application yesterday to them for a different job, but they liked my previous work experience in mentoring and in a call centre. Fingers crossed they hire me!


Browned Onion and Garlic Pizza (vegan, gluten free option, soy free, nut free)


pizza dough for 1 pizza (wholemeal or gluten free)

1 large brown onion, thinly sliced

1-2 tablespoons olive oil (plus more to brush pizza)

2 garlic cloves, diced

1 tablespoon fresh/dried rosemary

sea salt & black pepper to tasteDSC05454


1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

2. Heat a large pan with olive oil, then add the onion. Saute for 4-5 minutes or until onion has softened, but not browned (Its best to use a nonstick pan for this).


3. In the meantime roll out pizza dough and place into a pizza pan/stone. Brush base with olive oil. (If you are using a pizza pan brush that with oil before placing the pizza ontop, so that the base will brown)

4. Take pan off the heat, then add garlic and stir though the onion.

5. Top pizza with the onion and garlic. Then sprinkle some rosemary, sea salt and black pepper.

6. Bake pizza for 15 mins or until the base is cooked and the onions are lightly browned.

*Makes 1 pizza


Red Lentil and Root Vegetable Soup (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)


1 large brown onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, diced

2 carrots, diced

1 stalk of celery, diced

1 swede, diced

2 parsnips, diced

2 red skinned potatoes, diced

1 sweet potato, diced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground ginger

4 cups vegetable/vegan chicken liquid stock

sea salt to taste???????????????????????????????


1. Heat olive oil in a large pot, then add the vegetables and spices. Saute for a couple of minutes.


2. Add the liquid stock and bring to the boil, then cover and place on a simmer. Cook for 20 mins or until the vegetables begin to soften.???????????????????????????????

3. Add the red lentils and sea salt if you need. Continue to cook covered on a simmer, until both the lentils have cooked and the vegetable are completely cooked.

4. Take off the heat and puree the soup with a bar mix, until you have the desired consistency. If the soup is too thick add some filtered water to thin it out.

5. Reheat on the stove to you are ready to serve.

*Serves 6


Chocolate Berry Overnight Oats (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)


1/2 cup instant/rolled oats, preferably organic

3/4 cup plant milk (coconut, rice or oat;  almond or soy if you can tolerate)

1/2 cup mixed frozen berries

1 tablespoon cacao powder

1/2 tablespoon maca powder (optional)

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1.5  tablespoon maple syrup (I used blueberry maple syrup)

1 teapsoon goji berries to serve

1 teaspoon cacao nibs to serve DSC05483


1. Combine the oats, milk, frozen berries, cacao, maca, chia seeds and maple syrup in an airtight container and stir to combine all.

2. Seal the container and place in the fridge over night.

3. In the morning serve with goji berries and cacao nibs. If you don’t have these any other dried fruit, nuts and/or dark chocolate chips would go nice. If the consistency of the oats is too thick add a dash of milk.

*Serves 1

Red Lentil Patties with Kale Pesto

We just had the yummiest lunch! Marco had been badgering me to make something before he went to work, but I wasn’t in the mood to cook. Then  I got the inspiration to make these delicious patties and make use of my organic kale. I don’t usually bake patties, but I figured why not. I hate when they fall apart when I flip them. Flipping isn’t my strong suit in the kitchen. I am so happy I did bake them. They were crumbly on the outside and nice and soft and gooey on the inside. Well that’s how Marco described them. He loved these patties, he even loved this pesto. He’s not a big fan of kale, so this was a more exciting way for him to eat it. We ended up finishing off the rest of the patties, but still have some Kale Pesto to enjoy with another meal.


Red Lentil Patties (vegan, gluten free, soy free)


1/2 cup red lentils

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small red onion, diced

1 small potato, grated

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon curry powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

sea salt to taste

1/2 cup quinoa crumbs (or other gluten free crumbs)

1/4 cup sesame seeds

6 tablespoons Kale Pesto (recipe below)


1. First cook the red lentils. Place 1 cup of water with the red lentils in a small pot and bring to the boil, then simmer for 10-15 mins till cooked. Add more water if you need whiles its cooking.

2. Meanwhile,  preheat oven to 180 degrees  and heat a pan with olive oil. Saute the red onion and grated potato for 5 mins or until the onion has softened.

3. All the  red lentils, red onion and potato to cool a little then add them into the processor. While it mixing add garlic powder, cumin, curry powder, cayenne and sea salt.

4. Once the mixture has combined well remove from the processor and place in a bowl. Add quinoa crumbs and stir through the mixture.

5. Form the mixture into 6 patties. Place the sesame seeds in a small bowl and dust the patties in the sesame seeds.

6. Place patties on a nonstick cookie tray, then bake for 20-25 mins. Turn once while they are cooking so that the seasame seeds on both sides get a little browned.

7. Serve with a tablespoon of Kale Pesto on each pattie.

*Serves 2-3 people.


Kale Pesto (vegan, gluten free, soy free)


2.5-3 cups red russian kale leaves (stems removed)

1/3 cup pine nuts

2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon garlic powder (or 2-3  garlic cloves)

2 tablespoons lemon juice sea salt to taste


1. Place pine nuts in the processor and whiz till they are broken down and start to form a paste. If they are not braking down add a dash of olive oil.

2. Then add the kale leaves. Add a bit more olive oil to help break them down easier.

3. Once kale has broken down add the rest of the ingredients to the processor, until it is all combined and creamy.

*Makes about 3/4 cup


Pumpkin, Sweet Potato & Red Lentil Curry and Spinach Koftas with Yogurt Sauce

Tonight I wanted to make use of the Kingland Plain Soy Yogurt that I bought over the weekend. I wanted to use it to make something that I usually can’t have. So I found a recipe for these Spinach Koftas with Yogurt Sauce, from the recipe book The Food of India. This was quite easy recipe to make and was a crowd please. I had to guess how much of everything I had to use, as I didn’t have the correct amount of spinach and yogurt. My batter was very wet and I was unable to roll them, so I used an icecream scope and dropped them into the oil. So they didn’t turn out like balls, but still taste great.

I also used my yogurt to make Potato and Pea Curry with Yogurt, Cumin, and Ginger, from Serious Eats. I didn’t have cumin seeds, so I used ground cumin. I am not sure what I did wrong, but it didn’t turn out very ‘Indian’. It was nice but the of the cumin was not strong. I also ran out of cumin by this point so there was no saving it.

My favorite dish of the night was the the curry, which I adapted from North Indian chickpea, lentil and squash curry recipe, from Woman&Home. I really liked the combination of the spices. I had to tweak the ingredients, due to lack of some and not enough of others, but it came together really nicely. I forgot to add mint or coriander to the finished dish. I was just trying to get everything ready in a rush and then I got grated ginger in my eye, which didn’t feel so good. Luckily I got everything together before My Kitchen Rules and even got in a short walk before. I served these dishes with steamed basmati rice and wholemeal chapati (frozen).


Pumpkin, Sweet Potato and Red Lentil Curry (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)


2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 onion, diced

1 tablespoon grated ginger

1 teaspoon ground tumeric

1 teaspoon chili flakes

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon garam masala

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon black pepper

470-500g pumpkin & sweet potato, cubed

3/4 cup red lentils

juice 1 lemon

700ml filtered water

2 teaspoon vegan chicken dry stock (optional)

sea salt to taste


1. Heat coconut oil in a large pot, then add onion. Cook for couple of minutes until it has softened.???????????????????????????????

2. Add the ginger, all the spices and sea salt. Cook for a few minutes till fragrant.???????????????????????????????

3. Add lentils, pumpkin, sweet potato, water and dry stock. Bring to the boil. Then leave on a simmer for 20 mins or until lentils are mushy. (I cooked mine for nearly an our for more flavor).

4. Add lemon juice and adjust seasoning. Add coriander or mint leaves to serve (optional)

*Serves 6


Spinach Koftas with Yogurt Sauce (vegan, gluten free, nut free)

Ingredients for Sauce:

1 cup soy yogurt

3 tablespoons chickpea flour

1 tablespoon coconut/canola oil

2 teaspoons black mustard seeds

1 teaspoons fenugreek seeds

6 curry leaves

1 small onion

1.5 garlic cloves

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

Ingredients for Koftas:

120 g baby spinach

1/2 cup + reserve 1.5 cups chickpea flour

1/2 small red onion, diced

1/2 cup tinned diced tomato or 1 tomato, diced

2 garlic clove, diced

1 tablespoon coriander leaves, diced


1. To make sauce, take a pot and whisk yogurt, chickpea flour and water (don’t cook).???????????????????????????????

2. In a wok heat oil and add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and curry leave. Cover and cook for 1 minute.

3. Add onion, garlic, turmeric and chili powder. Saute uncovered for 5 mins.

4. Place the ingredient of the wok and place in the pot with the yoguart. Bring this pot to the boil then leave to simmer for 10 mins.???????????????????????????????

5. In the meantime, place spinach in boiling water, so that it wilts, then rinse with cold water and cut. ???????????????????????????????

6. Place the rest of the ingredients for the koftas in a mixing bowl (1/2 cup chickpea flour), then add the spinach. Add more chickpea flour if the mixture is too wet.

7. Heat the wok with oil to fry, then drop balls of the mixture into the hot oil and cook until golden. (I had to use an ice cream spoon to drop them in, as my mixture was too wet, but it still worked well). Place the koftas on a paper towel, to absorb the oil.

*Serve koftas with the yogurt sauce.

* I made about 22 koftas.


There was heaps left so lucky Marco gets to take some for work tomorrow.


Roasted Cherry Tomato, Spinach, Lentil & Buckwheat Stew and Pumpkin Spelt Loaf

For this stew and the Roasted Cherry tomato Sauce I used Sweet Solanato Cherry Tomatoes. They are probably the best cherry tomatoes I have tasted in Australia and are exclusive to Woolworths at the moment. They just became available, so I picked up heaps of these 200 g punnets for only $0.48 each. They are really, really sweet and are addictive to eat fresh. They are a new variety, bred in the Netherlands and are grown hydroponically in Bundaberg, Queensland and Gosford, New South Wales. If you are in Australia and want to find out more about them I have included a nice clip below.

This is a really easy stew to make and full of flavor. I think roasted the tomatoes first really makes the different in the taste. I tried to make use the white parts of the spinach. Initially I sauted them with the onions, carrots and chili, and then pureed them with the tomatoes, so that they wouldn’t be crunch in the stew. I wanted to leave the leaves whole so I added them at the end, but if you have picky eaters you can puree them as well and they will be none the wiser. The red lentils and buckwheat went really well as they are both soft, quick cooking ingredients that are really healthy and have a mild taste.

For the Pumpkin Spelt Loaf I took some inspiration from this Taste recipe, but I changed it a lot so I could utilize my spelt flour. I added the dry ingredients to the pumpkin, rather then the other way around, which made it a lot less bread like, but I got rave reviews at home. So maybe it was a good mistake. It was even better the next day once it had set more in the fridge and we toasted in the sandwich press and served it with butter.


Roasted Cherry Tomato, Red Lentil & Buckwheat Soup (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)


olive oil

600g cherry tomatoes

8 garlic cloves

sea salt

1 onion

2 carrots

2 small red chili

4 leaves of silverbeet (3 stems chopped and 4 of just green leaves)

½ cup red lentils

½ cup buckwheat

3 cups of vegan chicken liquid stock


1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. DSC01119

2. Wash and cut in half all the cherry tomatoes.DSC01121

3. Take a baking tray and add cherry tomatoes, whole garlic cloves and sprinkle with sea salt. Cook for 15-20 mins, so that garlic is soft.

4. In the meantime, dice the onion, carrots, red chili. Separate the white stems and spines of the spinach from the green leaves. Then dice white stems (from 3 of whole leaves, discard one).

5. Take a pot and heat 1 tbsp of olive oil. Then saute the onion, carrots, red chili for 3 mins. Then add the spinach stems and saute for a further 3 mins. DSC01122

6. Once tomatoes & garlic are ready, peel the garlic and place both in to the pot. Then use a bar mix to blend all the vegetables together with the tomatoes to form a sauce (can also be done in a processor.

7. Put the buckwheat to cook in another pot. This should take 20-30 mins according to packet instructions.

8. While the buckwheat is cooking, add the red lentils and liquid stock to the pot with the pureed sauce. Bring to the boil, then place on simmer for 20-30 mins or until lentils are cooked.DSC01128

9. Lastly, cut the green spinach leaves (from 4 whole spinach leaves) into ribbons. You can do this by scrunch them up and in a cigar shape, then cutting them thinly.

10. Before serving add the spinach leaves and buckwheat and heat through, so the spinach goes limp.

*Serves 5


Pumpkin Spelt Loaf (vegan, nut free)


500-600 g butternut pumpkin

1.5 cup wholemeal spelt

½ cup white unbleached flour

1 teaspoon sea salt

3 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons fennel seeds

2 eggs worth of egg replacer

5 tablespoons melted butter

½ cup soy milk

1 big sprig of rosemary


1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

1. Wash and cut pumpkin into small pieces, remembering to remove the seeds and skin.

2. Place pumpkin in a steamer and cook for 20 mins or until soft.

3. Mash the pumpkin with a fork.

4. Take a large bowl and mix the spelt, white flour, sea salt, baking powder, fennel seeds and 2/3 of the rosemary leaves.

5. Then add egg replacer, melted butter and soy milk. DSC01115

6. Lastly add the pumpkin and mix through.

7. Place the mixture in a loaf tin and top with the remaining rosemary leaves.

8. Place in the oven and bake for 60 mins.




Fresh Food Update – Sweet Solanato, http://cooking-recipes4u.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/fresh-food-update-sweet-solanato.html

AU: Spring into Sweet Solanato tomatoes, www.freshplaza.com/news_detail.asp?id=102489